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  • FIRST POST
    • Nominal
    • By Nominal 11th Feb 18, 11:42 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Nominal
    UC with Zero-Hour Contract
    • #1
    • 11th Feb 18, 11:42 PM
    UC with Zero-Hour Contract 11th Feb 18 at 11:42 PM
    Do I need to look for work? I'm on universal credit and a zero-hour contract (with virtually nil hours in the near future). I think my job centre advisor said, "You have a job so you don't have to look for work".

    I should have asked her to clarify because this doesn't seem to make sense. On my UC account it says I have to look for work.

    I think she may have forgotten the fact that I am likely to get no hours for a while (which I had told her). She may have been thinking that, as I have a job /and ostensibly have hours/, I don't need to look for work.

    So ... I'm a single guy with a (zero-hour contract) job ... and I'm /not getting more than a day per month these days/. Surely I need to look for work or I'll be sanctioned??

    PS how many jobs do I need to apply for? Is it standard JSA or do they consider it on a week-by-week basis etc? (How many hours I worked, etc)

    Please help me out here. And should I just ask my advisor on the journal option of my UC account?
    Last edited by Nominal; 12-02-2018 at 12:12 AM.
Page 1
    • huckster
    • By huckster 12th Feb 18, 6:56 AM
    • 3,045 Posts
    • 1,280 Thanks
    huckster
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 18, 6:56 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 18, 6:56 AM
    You would have agreed to a commitment detailing exactly what you have to do. A copy of this will be in your UC account, so just log in and read it.

    Yes you have to search for work, until i believe you earn at least 35 hours at national minimum wage (nmw). Even below 35 hours at nmw you have to search for more work, so you can get to 35xnwm. This is based on you being a single person not stating any reasons why your commitment would need to be tailored to take into account issues.

    If you don't meet the terms of your commitment, yes you can be sanctioned.

    You should be asking your Job Centre Work Coach these questions.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 12th Feb 18, 7:05 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 18, 7:05 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 18, 7:05 AM
    @Nominal What does your zero-hours contract say about second jobs?

    Some of these contracts do not allow for people "searching for work" as the idea is the the employee to be constantly available while having no commitment from the employer on the other side. Some consider this unfair and would prefer they did not exist.

    It would be ironic for you to find a second job that puts you in breach of contract of the first, unless the second job was more favourable

    So key to this would be your existing contract and your advisor may be correct - but check the contract.
    • Diamandis
    • By Diamandis 12th Feb 18, 8:01 AM
    • 206 Posts
    • 306 Thanks
    Diamandis
    • #4
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:01 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:01 AM
    @Nominal What does your zero-hours contract say about second jobs?

    Some of these contracts do not allow for people "searching for work" as the idea is the the employee to be constantly available while having no commitment from the employer on the other side. Some consider this unfair and would prefer they did not exist.

    It would be ironic for you to find a second job that puts you in breach of contract of the first, unless the second job was more favourable

    So key to this would be your existing contract and your advisor may be correct - but check the contract.
    Originally posted by WhenIam64
    They're not allowed to prevent you from getting a second job on a zero hours contract.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 12th Feb 18, 9:03 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 18, 9:03 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 18, 9:03 AM
    They're not allowed to prevent you from getting a second job on a zero hours contract.
    Thanks @Diamandis for updating me. It's sensible to see it that way. But going back to the point raised, the OP should look at what he has signed and the terms within as some terms may be enforceable.

    Secondly as the OP is "under contract" he is employed and IMHO the adviser is correct and there is no breach of the UC contract which appears to be what was being hinted at here.

    Thirdly looking for another job may in itself be beneficial if the ZOC is not offering anything

    Lastly going back to the ZOC contract again (which is key) at what point does a ZOC offering no hours become invalid.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 12th Feb 18, 9:54 AM
    • 11,116 Posts
    • 13,038 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #6
    • 12th Feb 18, 9:54 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Feb 18, 9:54 AM
    I agree that OP should be looking at their employment contract and seeing if there is an exclusivity clause in their contract (i.e can they take a second job)

    If there is an exclusivity clause in the employment contract then in this link

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-and-employers-frequently-asked-questions/universal-credit-and-employers-frequently-asked-questions

    it says that you do not have to accept a zero hours contract with such a clause. You would need to discuss this with your coach as to whether you should find another job before giving up the zero hours contract.

    The DWP receives Real Time Information from HMRC about your hours and pay received so they will know that you are not meeting the conditionality requirements if you do not search for jobs. (also in the link) Have you been earning 35 x NMW recently? If you have this may be why your coach said 'you do not have to search for jobs'.

    It is vital that you sort this out as, already said, you could be sanctioned if you do not fulfil your conditionality requirements.

    It is

    Also, which conditionality group are you in? All work requirements?
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 12th Feb 18, 10:02 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    • #7
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:02 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:02 AM
    Lastly going back to the ZOC contract again (which is key) at what point does a ZOC offering no hours become invalid.
    Have you been earning 35 x NMW recently?
    An interesting point. Is there any evidence / link that says someone on ZOC must be doing 35 hours to get UC? Seems like an issue that may need to be tested at court as what about discrimination on working mothers or those with care responsibilities.

    No help to the OP but one for the campaigners perhaps.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 12th Feb 18, 10:08 AM
    • 11,116 Posts
    • 13,038 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    • #8
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:08 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:08 AM
    An interesting point. Is there any evidence / link that says someone on ZOC must be doing 35 hours to get UC? Seems like an issue that may need to be tested at court as what about discrimination on working mothers or those with care responsibilities.

    No help to the OP but one for the campaigners perhaps.
    Originally posted by WhenIam64
    This link might help:

    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Universal-Credit/Claimant-Commitment-Conditionality

    It explains everything about the conditionality groups.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 12th Feb 18, 12:28 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 18, 12:28 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 18, 12:28 PM
    While T2Us is a good source, it is only secondary.

    A Decision Makers guide on Zero hours is shown here

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/618970/admk2.pdf

    See section K2301 / K2302

    There is a degree of flexibility but it would need to be evidenced based.
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